Thursday, April 17, 2008

This is My Hometown




(That's actually the side of the pharmacy in my hometown in Georgia which is the home of the "National" Grits Festival)

Springsteen has his Jersey. Tom Petty has his Florida. Rick Moranis has his Toronto. And I have my Warwick, Georgia. A recent email from my dad has made me realize that perhaps my family in Georgia are a little more "country" than most.

The email that inspired this blog:

Amanda: I hope you're doing well.... Haven't heard from you in some time and just wanted to catch you up on some news... First, Erin (stepsister) had her baby on Monday afternoon... 6 pounds 12 ounces, 19 inches long... His name is Zachery Wayne Peacock... I've attached a couple of pictures of "Peanut"... Janice is so excited she can't stand it.... Other news, Wesley has switched schools... He's now going to Crisp Academy (He was picked to play on their baseball team)... Bubba says he's ready to transfer too...


So if you're keeping track, that's Zachery Wayne "Peanut" Peacock. The kid is three days old and has already been saddled with that name. He didn't get a chance to earn it by eating lots of peanuts or being vertically challenged. He got a few minutes to let them get the goo out of his nose and cut the cord and now he's Ol' Peanut Peacock.

You may have noticed the news about Bubba also considering transferring schools. Bubba's birth certificate reads Chandler Paul Larkin. I cannot confirm nor deny that he was named for a character from Friends. He was born in 1995. I will leave it at that. His nickname was bestowed upon him at the ripe old age of 3 months. You know, when you really get a good feel for a child's personality. Which one would you rather live up to? Being called Bubba or being named for Matthew Perry's character from Friends? I'll let you decide.

This made me start to think that perhaps the signs were there the whole time.

Example #1: My Aunt Bon bought a cordless phone in 1989. She took it home and charged it. Then she grabbed her new cordless phone, jumped in her car and drove to the closest Wal-Mart which was thirty minutes away in Cordele. She tucked the cordless phone into her purse and walked into Wal-Mart. In the middle of the jewelry department, she decided to really razzle dazzle the clerk by making a "call" while shopping. Two days later, she returned the "broken" cordless phone for a refund. So in a way, my Aunt Bon invented the cell phone. I will tell her "thank you" on behalf of all of you.

Example #2: We spent a week each summer in a condo in the sunny climes of Panama City Beach, Florida every summer. In case you aren't familiar with Panama City Beach, the nicest restaurant in the city is one that is located inside a pretend pirate ship. There were a few red flag incidents in Panama City. The first one being when we all got dressed up to go to the Pirate Ship Restaurant. This was a classy affair in Panama City Beach terms because the Pirate Ship Restaurant contained two separate dining quarters. The family-style Captain Crabby's and the more adult-oriented Hooks Grill and Grog. So the waitress comes around to take our drink orders. Most order iced tea. Dad orders his Budweiser. She works her way around to Aunt Bon (as the kids would say, she most certainly "kept it real" at all times) who enthusiastically inquires "Y'all got Hot Damn?" Yes, Aunt Bon starts out not with breadsticks or a glass of wine but with cheap cinnamon flavored schnapps. Luckily for her, we were in Panama City Beach and her wish was their Hot Damn.

The second Panama City Beach incident involved the other family tradition of getting personalized airbrushed souvenir t-shirts. By the time I was 10 and blossoming, my family decided that it would be a great idea to make me and my 18 year old cousin Jeannie get matching two-pieces to go with our airbrushed shirts. That may not sound creepy. Until you realize that my airbrushed shirt was customized with my family's new nickname for me: TATAS.

And finally Example #3: This one also involves Aunt Bon. In Warwick, there is a place called Rubo's. Rubo's is a gas station. And a bait shop. And a grocery store. And a hair salon. And a video store. And a pizza parlor. And a diner. And an arcade. And they sell guns. I'm guessing the square footage of the entire building is somewhere around 2,500 feet. I was a regular late night visitor to Rubo's. Because my Aunt Bon used to wake me up around 11pm on summer nights and tell me to put my bunny slippers or flip flops on and get in the car. So I would drag myself out of bed wearing my Care Bears nightgown and get in the car. Once we reached Rubo's, Aunt Bon would hand me a check made out for the exact amount of a carton of Doral Light 100's. I would sleepily wander up to the register to request my carton in my tired child voice. Then stagger back to my aunt's Pontiac Bonneville (she bought it because "it's got my name written all over it!") and hand over her beloved Dorals. After many late night Doral trips, I finally one night asked why I was being recruited for this task. I will never forget the answer.

"I just hate puttin' shoes on"

1 comment:

ShHoUrTi said...

You know... I randomly found this in a google search.. I'm from Cordele, GA. I've got a cousin nicknamed Bubba (Real name James) and my dad worked at that very Rubos store from until about 1994.